SIA passengers can submit Covid-19 test results & other information digitally, speeding up check-ins

The service is currently offered to passengers travelling from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.

Andrew Koay | December 23, 2020, 05:03 PM

Travellers on Singapore Airlines (SIA) flights from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta can now submit their Covid-19 test results, vaccination status and other health information using a digital verification system.

This process — which SIA is now trialling — promises a faster and more secure way for travellers to submit their health details to the authorities, thereby speeding up check-ins and the immigration entry process into Singapore.

Starts with a code

The new digital health verification process involves passengers being given digital or paper health certificates with a QR code.

The code can then be scanned by airport check-in staff.

Singapore’s immigration authority will then use a phone application to verify the authenticity of the certificate and ensure that the passenger meets Singapore’s entry requirements, such as their Covid-19 test results.

Previously, passengers would have to submit a paper copy of their health information to the staff while checking-in, who would then have to verify the information manually. This was a rather lengthy process.

Trialling the app

SIA said in a press release on Dec. 23 that the new process — designed based on the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass framework — will be a faster and more secure way to validate a passenger’s health credentials than the existing protocols.

"It would make it easier for SIA customers to control their information, reduce friction during their travel journey, and result in a more seamless experience with the aid of digital technologies in the new normal," added the airline.

If adopted widely, it will also be part of a global and standardized solution proposed by IATA to validate and authenticate all country regulations regarding Covid-19 passenger travel requirements.

A glimpse into what future travel could look like?

Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung posted a photo of the app — developed by local tech company Affinidi — on Facebook and wrote: "This is the 'health certificate' that may come in handy when you travel next time."

"Covid-19 test results, and soon, your vaccination status, may become very relevant information at the check-in and immigration counters for cross border travel."

Results and statuses, he added, would have to be "easily verifiable".

Echoing Ong's sentiments, SIA's Acting Senior Vice President Marketing Planning Joann Tan said the process would "provide our customers and governments with the assurance that they need about the security and authenticity of the test and vaccination information".

The service will initially be offered to travellers on flights operated by SIA from Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur to Singapore from Dec. 23 onwards.

Passengers will be able to get their health certificates after taking Covid-19 tests at selected clinics in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

SIA plans to integrate the entire process into the existing SingaporeAir mobile app from around mid-2021.

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Top image by Affinidi via Ong Ye Kung's Facebook